Youth Conservation Corps is Working Hard!

Youth Conservation Corps hard at work
Youth Conservation Corps hard at work

This year’s YCC crew has been very busy! We have four YCC members and two leaders this summer. Kari Neilson, from the Student Conservation Association, has been working alongside Bethany Crahen to lead Taylor Burns (return crew member), Ben Stroka, Rose Trometer, and Jake Desmarais through the various summer projects. The crew began work on June 24 and has been non- stop since. On your next visit to the Refuge, you may notice the landscaping has changed from grass to a beautiful garden. The YCC crew worked on ordering plants, planting shrubs, mulching and watering the new landscape to compliment the new building. In addition to planting, they have also been trimming back overgrown vegetation on trails and overlooks, picking up garbage, assisting in small mammal trapping, fixing signs, filling in potholes, building a new duck trap, and weeding existing gardens…to name just a few!

The crew also had an exciting opportunity to work with the Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (LGLFWCO), as the YCC members were able work on Lake Ontario to collect age and sex data on lake sturgeon. The crew was able to catch, and hold, three lake sturgeon! On that same day, the crew helped with Lake Ontario water quality testing and learned a variety of new field techniques from the LGLFWCO staff.

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Summer is quickly coming to a close and we are nearing the end of our 2013 YCC program. It has been an exciting summer full of a variety of tasks. The crew’s endurance, work ethic, and enthusiasm has never faltered and their contributions to the Refuge have proved invaluable.